This story, Of Lay Offs and New Beginnings, starts mid June 2017. Laura and I went to Mazamitla for a weekend getaway and an Enduro race. Tiny mountain town deep in the mountains, with very little wifi, and even less cell phone coverage (just perfect). Being there just 2 and a half days, relaxed me what even month long vacations couldn’t. Everything was so peaceful, quiet and friendly, we stayed at a B&B right on the main town square and would cross the small half block long square to the minute coffee shop, “The Little Coffee” and pay $3 for a hot chocolate and a raspberry pastry.
The race was so cool. Lots of pristine forest, killer single tracks, a very relaxed racing attitude, made it memorable. Lots of celebratory beer at the end of the race (thanks Minerva). Everything was just SO good, that I just really wanted to ride my bike like that forever.
Time catches up and with it, reality. We drove back home to Guadalajara, back to the corporate job at a big former warehouse and printer factory. That’s now converted into rows and rows of endless cubicles, columns and meeting rooms. Monday morning, walk in, boot the computer up and there’s an email from my manager’s manager with the subject “Urgent need to talk 2pm” with my manager and the local manager copied. Now those rarely mean something good. So, I dial into the meeting expecting the worse, and was given my 2 weeks notice.
First thing that went through my mind, and I probably blurted something out loud to that effect was: “I just want to ride my bike”. That was it, I wasn’t sad, worried, or scared. I was relieved that I was leaving on favorable terms and would have time and space to figure things out for myself. So I did just that, and on July 7 Th. I walked out, and for the first time in years started thinking just about myself. Not my corporate career, not my career growth path, not helping clients grow, not helping some company save millions and not avoiding billion dollar catastrophes. Nope, just me… and the bike… OK, bikes, just 2… And a third frame that’s to be built soon… but that’s it.
Figured I’d start writing, it’s what I’ve enjoyed the most over the years. Be it high school, college, even in corporate translating and writing manuals. And having contributed articles on and off writing for a Mexican MTB School. Here I wanted things a little different though, since this is ultimately for me.
I prefer writing in English, and at least that’s the language in my head 90% of the time. I also want me, not the Victor nicknamed “Sheldon” from the school blog and group rides because he unbearably thinks he knows everything about bikes. So naturally my first thought was: “heck let’s be Sheldon Brown less techie more talky,” but then Sheldon was pretty much best at explaining.
Plus I really never read those long winded “intros” cooking blogs have. I’ll just jump straight to the recipe, so why would I do that? And didn’t I just say: “stay away from being an unbearable holier than thou techie dude?” So I figured, heck I’ll be like Bike Snob but for mountain bikes, but Bike Snob is Bike Snob, for all things 2 wheeled and he’s good, really damn snobby several book deals good and a knockoff is never as good as the original (I’m sure there’s an I’m Mexican and knockoffs joke there…).
Simple Cycles comes to be
Back to the blog board, what do I really want to talk about? And it’s been the same answer all along ever since I hung up from that liberating meeting back in June… I just want to ride my bike. That’s it! Simple, nothing more, just my bike and a trail (or the single speeder and a street) and honestly, I’m good.
I’m not really sold on the constant need for new kits, new gadgets, new gear, new standards, new bikes. Buy, buy, buy, new, new! And it really seems like someone screaming “Get something new!” every time I go out for me to enjoy this.
I’m perfectly content riding an almost 4 year old single pivot non boost bike with a 32 mm stanchion fork. Dressed in the finest $10 jerseys that Walmart has to offer. That’s what I like, and we don’t really see much of that online nowadays. It just seems like ads and reviews for overly expensive unnecessary things. No, this blog is for us, to remind ourselves to keep it simple, to remind ourselves that riding a bike is a simple joy. One that does not need the latest and greatest or spending a ton to enjoy riding a bike down a trail or around the streets.
I’m not a minimalist just yet. But I’m going to try to be a simple cyclist as best I can everyday.